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Apple developing Radio app for iPhone/iPod Touch?

On October 13th, 2009 at 5:21 pm
by Mike

Since the beginning of the iPod’s inception on this planet, many have panned the fruit based player for its lack of FM radio. Up until now, the benefit of having an FM radio integrated with your MP3 player is relatively small as an MP3 player is meant to distance yourself from normal music. That’s why we carry our own collections. Right? HD radio and the ability to display RDS information is a handy touch though hardly a critical decision when choosing an MP3 player. So was it really a big deal?

Apple has taken this stance for many years now, arguing that the lack of an FM radio was deliberate because it wasn’t needed. That is, until they deem it necessary as the newest iPod Nano’s now sport the long elusive feature. But, iPhones and iPod Touches may soon be receiving an FM update of their own. Now you may be questioning how that’s possible? Simple, a software update. You see, while at first your mind will lead you to believe that it’s a hardware limitation meaning that no software update could ever bring FM functionality, iPhone and iPod Touch circuitry already support FM capabilities, Apple just hasn’t acted upon them yet. The same sit and wait approach was taken with Bluetooth functionality in the 2nd gen iPod Touch. It took a full 9 months for Apple to unshackle the coveted feature.

We ma soon be seeing another feature unshackled for mainstream use, except this time it involves not only iPod Touches, but iPhones as well. 9to5 Mac received a tip tonight that Apple is working on their own, in-house radio app. The big pluses of an official in-house app are of course tight integration with the rest of the device and services as well as that Apple fit and finish that they have become known for. The most intriguing and promising rumor or “sub-rumor” is that said app will be able to run in the background. Whew! Other notable sub-rumors include the ability to tag, pause, and rewind live radio. The tagging feature will reportedly also allow you to launch the Mobile iTunes Music Store allowing complete cordless freedom in your music discovery needs. While the tipster didn’t specifically mention this tagging, pause, and rewind functionality, since it’s already on the Nano, we would *hope* that Apple would extend the party to iPhone/Touch platforms.

I’m definitely excited to see if this rumor has any real weight. I would obviously love to this materialize into something more, coming in the near future and not as an iPhone 4.0 feature as that’s just…well…way too far away. What are your thoughts. Earth shattering new feature, meh, or too late to the party?

9to5 Mac

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3 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Golf App for iPhone
    October 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I think this feature would be a great addition. It is definitely late but as long as users can make this upgrade for little to no charge on their existing phones, then I don’t think its a big deal. It’s understood that with technology comes tons and tons of updates like this golf app i use for the ipod…but the benefits are usually worth the wait when new “patches” come out.

    • Mike
      October 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

      Agreed. A free software based update would be most appreciated.

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